In the 1970s, Ghana has top players like LAMPTEY Esther, ESHUN Comfort and OKWAN Nancy, who made their presence felt at the African Games but since then, the West African nation has not been able to make headway at the championship.

But at the 1th African Games, Ghanaian team led by their Sweden-based captain, Bernard Sam is in confidence mood in readiness for the table tennis event to serve off on Thursday September 10.

“It is obvious that many people never considered Ghana as medal hopeful at the games but we are determined to achieve something this year. The quality of players in the team is superb because any player that made the team fought hard and gave their best during the nation league, top 16 and eight before the final four was selected for the male and female team. We are strong in the team and doubles events and that is why I believe we can make an appreciable impact this year,” Bernard Sam said.

The 27 year-old who plays in the Swedish third division for Ovanslijans however admitted that it would not be an easy ride achieving this aim as top ranked nations like Nigeria, Egypt and Congo Brazzaville may want to prevent them. “We are aware of the quality of Nigeria, Egypt and Congo Brazzaville as we know that it will be very hard and we are ready to through this to fulfill our dream as a team,” he added.

He blamed the setback that affected the fortunes of the sport in Ghana to lack of fund and reliance on football.

Like Sam, female captain, Efua Oforiwah is particularly excited making her debut at the games. “I am so excited making the team and I really want to learn from other top players in this tournament. I know it is going to be tough for us particularly being the captain, the burden will be on me and I am hopeful that Ghana will make a mark in Brazzaville,” the 29 year-old said.

For coach Anthony Owusu-Ansah blames the dwindling fortune of the sport on paucity of funds. “I am not too happy that table tennis is not doing well in Ghana because of lack of fund. Most of these players need exposure for them to improve and I know that with the tedious way we selected the players, I am sure we will try and do something in Brazzaville,” Owusu-Ansah said.

The coach however, is not happy that some Chinese-born players will be taking part in tournament meant for African players, saying, “I am not too happy that Chinese will be playing in an African competition. This is not too good for the continent and I am not too happy with this,” he said.